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Updated Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 04:16 PM

A chance to taste the world’s most expensive beer

By Tan Vinh
Seattle Times staff reporter

Sure, $30 for a beer tasting may seem a bit much, but what if it were a chance to sip the world’s most expensive brew?

Samuel Adams’ Utopias sells for $190 for a 24-ounce bottle, but the beer goes for two to three times that on eBay and other Internet sites. Only 15,000 bottles are available worldwide, and most get hawked before ever reaching store shelves.

But next Tuesday, Super Deli Mart in West Seattle will offer a one-ounce pour of Utopias, along with six other rare beers. You can buy a ticket in advance, but the catch is you must go to the convenience store to do it. No orders will be taken over the phone.

A blend of several beers, Utopias has been aged for as long as 19 years — in bourbon casks for hints of vanilla and maple, and to finish, in Portuguese port casks to pick up dark fruit aromas and in Nicaraguan rum barrels to gain fig and raisin notes.

Beer aficionados compare it to cognac, and like that refined tipple, Utopias is meant to be sipped in about a two-ounce pour served at room temperature.

(Don’t fret, cost-conscious imbibers: In terms of inebriative value, Utopias is also one of the world’s most potent beers, at 29 percent alcohol content.)

Even if Utopias is sold out, you don’t want to miss Tuesday’s tasting. You can buy $1 drinking tickets to get four-ounce pours of 10 other reserves and rare ales including the acclaimed New Albion Brew and Samuel Adams’ Thirteenth Hour Stout. All are available for $7 a growler fill.

The Details

Super Deli Mart, 9051 35th Ave. S.W., Seattle. The tasting event takes place Tuesday from 5-7 p.m. You can buy Utopias tasting ticket in the store from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. The $30 tasting includes an ounce of Utopias, flights of six other acclaimed and rare ales and a Utopias souvenir glass. On the day of the event, you can also buy $1 tasting tickets to sample some of the other 10 acclaimed and rare ales on tap (206-937-1442; no webpage, but the store has a Facebook page under the stores’ name.)

Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or tvinh@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @tanvinhseattle


The Boston Beer Company
Utopias, the world's most expensive beer, will be available for tasting at Super Deli Mart in West Seattle.




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